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Vaccine holdouts are jeopardizing Thailand

Thailand’s vaccine holdouts and anti-vaccine movement is jeopardizing the country’s hard-earned Covid-19 gained, a doctor at Vajira Hospital told Thai Enquirer on Friday.

The country has seen increasing Covid-19 numbers fueled in part by the fast-spreading Omicron variant. On Friday, the country found over 26,000 new cases.

More worryingly, the number of fatalities has also been high over the last two months with death rates between 50 – 100 fatalities per day.

“In terms of stopping the spread of the virus, it is almost impossible due to the fast spreading nature of Omicron,” said Dr Maliwan, who asked to not give her last name citing sensitivity.

“You cannot stop it but you can limit the number of fatalities by fully vaccinating your population.”

However, according to Maliwan, the number of fatalities is increasing because some people are choosing not to vaccinate or vaccinate fully.

“There are people who are listening to alternative sources of information and refuse to vaccinate or some people who get one dose and refuse to get more because they got sick for a day or two,” Maliwan said.

“These make up the overwhelming number of severe cases we are seeing and the overwhelming number of fatalities.”

Maliwan said there are legitimate reasons where vaccinations are not an option including immune-compromised patients or patients with certain congenital diseases.

“But the people for whom vaccines aren’t an option are being let down by those that can vaccinate and choose not to because they spread the disease even quicker and they are putting a strain on the Public Health Service.”

The government has said that it will make boosters available to all Thais that want it and that it is increasing its vaccine capacity daily.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul has also come out to encourage Thais to get vaccinated so that the country can return back to normal as quickly as possible.

“Now that the ministry is importing anti-covid pills, we hope these anti-science Thais will find some way to accept modern treatment and help the country right the ship and move in the right direction,” Maliwan said.

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